Thursday, January 2, 2014

on to bigger and better

What the heck has happened to me and blogging? I don't know if there is a 100% realistic answer. Times and seasons? Feeling busy? (YES). Sick kids and sick self? Inability to take pictures of the new kitchen/house/life. That is probably a big part of it. Which is totally lame. Why don't I just take some pictures and post them and be done? I think it's because there are still STILL things that are not finished and driving me a little crazy about the kitchen. And no one else cares but me, but it doesn't feel done--thus I feel uninspired to take photos. The biggest annoyance to me right now is not the missing cabinet doors (open shelving is in after all), but the eat in dining area. We don't use the front room that the former occupants used as a formal dining room. We have that set up as a living room (we call our t.v. room a family room--what do you call them?). Anyway, we only have this little area for our dining--no other space--and I keep feeling like I made a pretty big error with our kitchen. I REALLY wanted a little bar/counter area for my kids to have stools and be able to talk to me/do homework/ help make cookies/ be there while I am cooking. It was super important to me. But...I just don't know if there was really the space to add it, but I did anyway. I just figured we would have a cozy dining nook with a bench. You know the type of space I'm talking about right. One like this:

But the weird thing about the space is that with the stools that I had (I've already bought and returned two sets of stools), they take up a lot of space and the room is wider than it is long. Turns out that makes a dining nook tricky. I have been driving myself crazy crazytown (no, for reals) trying to figure out how to set up the table/chairs/stools/bench/dining banquette/ settee/ what could the answer be? I think I have a solution, but it is not my ideal and that has sort of bummed me out feeling like I'm a dork and bad kitchen designer, but um, this is when I need to give myself a wake up call and remind myself that indeed, I am not a kitchen designer. This is what ikea has done to us mere mortals--put too much power into our hands and made us think we are designers because we played god with our kitchens. ha!

So, I guess I'll apologize if you follow me on pinterest and are sick of seeing banquette pictures. I was doing "mere mortal, I think I screwed up my kitchen spacing" research.

As for family stuff, well we are all hanging in there pretty well. Maddy went back into school today and was beaming when she got into the van, informing me that everyone was in absolute awe over the awesome rainbow loom bracelet I made her (thanks youtube). Apparently now everyone wants a dragon scale bracelet. It's sort of adorable and funny how much these things are a status symbol in first grade and how happy it made little Maddy for one day to be awesome.  It's scary to think what the next thing will be--I wish it could always stay cheap little rainbow loom bracelets! Reminds me of the movie Little Women and "all those glorious limes, thrown out in the snow!" (tell me you know what I'm talking about!)

As for Grant, well he is a busy guy. Really busy. I don't have time for anything except him these days. I am sort of counting down the days until he is in preschool, which sounds terrible to admit, but I think he gets lonely and bored with me, and I get worn out and am out of clever ideas of ways to keep him active, safe, and generally alive. It's a mixed bag, because I love having him with me, I love his adorable little smiles, the funny things he is saying--his funny nature, but I am ready to not worry about another person's safety 24/7. We had to move the door locks higher on the door because he started moving over chairs and trying to unlock them. Scary! I know that this part of his life will be over soon enough and I'll miss his little impish ways, but to say it isn't difficult to keep up would be dishonest. Boys and girls--they are SO dang different.

What else can I bore you with? How about the things I have been thinking about the year to come? I have been selling a bunch of stuff on craigslist/ebay trying to 1. clear stuff out because I'm tired of having STUFF and having to clean it up and move it around and I'm becoming a dang minimalist/Scandinavian. I want all my walls white and I want all of my floors clean by golly! and 2. I would rather have one nice chair than five chairs that don't fit my style and are falling apart. This is my new philosophy for my house in the coming year and thus we have been purging quite a bit. I'm taking the money I'm earning (albeit they are in very small chunks) and putting them into either a new chair or new banquette fund. I haven't decided which yet. I am also putting all of my photography earnings into that fund as well. Before it just sort of got absorbed into the everything budget, but I've decided that since I am doing the hard work of listing things and purging (and taking pictures), that I'm entitled to save that money and use it on my house. Here is the chair I am saving for (if that's the route I end up deciding on):

it has a slipcover. be still my heart.

The other new outlook for the year is a hopeful and more aggressive financial outlook/budget. We have been slammed these past few years with unexpected hospital bills (never-ending it feels like!), house issues (and even as we speak I have a leaky shower that is still driving me crazy and will have to wait its turn), job losses, costly moves, renovations, car disasters. The list goes on and on. It's probably like that for most folks. But we are finally feeling settled and hopefully here for a good long haul and hope to finally move forward and build up some savings. I think you know you're getting old when the idea of feeling secure and peaceful about your finances ranks higher than anything that you could buy with that same money (except for a chair and new banquette of course ha!). But you know what I mean, right? All of us will always want new, fun things that will make our lives easier/nicer/more fun/prettier. But in the end it's worth waiting and saving for. Now fingers crossed the emergencies will just slow down for a little bit. (knock on wood, famous last words).

Also in my sights is to take little family trips. I'm going to try and stash a little bit away for those too--maybe by trying to be extra frugal in groceries to pinch into a vacation day fund? John is also open to me taking a few days somewhere by myself this year (last year it was Time Out for Women which I considered a flop--a whole other story), and this year I am thinking of going somewhere close but peaceful. That feels completely selfish and terrible, but also completely wonderful. People who meet me think I'm an extrovert, but anyone that really knows me well knows that I am a major introvert and crave that quiet alone time to recharge.  I have the best husband in the world who understands me, and don't I know it!!

So how about you? What are your hopes for the new year?

Lastly, I just saw that google made me some sort of "2013 video" all by itself, without any help from me. Let's see what it looks like shall we? (In one photo you see me torturing John by making him sit in the cursed dining room while I measure and look at stuff ha!!) Hope your 2013 was a good one. Now onward and upward!


Emily Foley said...

I'm going to have to leave more than one comment because I'll never remember everything, but yes! The glorious limes from the rag money. I know. Emilie sent my boys bracelets and Isaac the 9 year old actually wore it for a long time! That's big time, rainbow loom.

I finally signed Zoe up for preschool, starts on Tuesday. My friend works for the catholic private school and got her a scholarship in August but it was only 50% and Dave felt like that wasn't enough so we kept putting off putting her in but on the last day of school in December I said to heck with Dave (ha!) and registered her. I love that I get to be home with her but I canNOT play with her all day long. I haven't told him yet though...

We live in a prefab home that is basically a glorified trailer so I feel you on the stupid long skinny kitchen. Our table just doesn't fit and it bugs me so badly. I feel you on that. Good luck with figuring it out!

I would love a few days alone. I really crave alone time as well, a trip alone would be amazing. For now I just go to movies alone!ove it.

We are going to California this year to visit Dave's family, I haven't been since Noah was a baby so I'm excited but I think that's it for family trips. San Francisco is expensive!

Dee in BC said...

I loved what you did with your previous home's kitchen. I bet I'll love this one too, once you work the kinks out. You are so blessed to have a husband the loves & understands you. Keep up the posting :)